Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Welterweight Aaron Simpson has joined World Series of Fighting, after the UFC did not offer him a new contract after his previous one expired when he fought Mike Pierce in October.
Former middleweight and current welterweight Aaron Simpson has a 7-4 UFC record, but the 38-year-old has apparently been released following a 2nd round KO loss against Mike Pierce in October. He will fight Josh Burkman at World Series of Fighting 2 in New Jersey. MMA Fighting's Mike Chiappetta has the details via Twitter:
Simpson, commonly referred to as the "thirty-something Randy Couture of the forty-something crowd" by Mike Goldberg and ... actually just him, dropped to welterweight last year, defeating Kenny Robertson and then losing to the aforementioned Pierce.
Earlier this month Burkman was scheduled to fight Ryan LaFlare, but LaFlare opted for the UFC instead -- he had a Strikeforce contract but never fought for the promotion. Simpson replaces LaFlare and becomes the latest ex-UFC fighter to join WSOF.
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UPDATE at 3:28 PM ET: Simpson's manager says the UFC did not release him, which now begs the question why is he fighting at WSOF? Could it be a one-off fight?
UPDATE at 4:10 PM ET: Simpson's manager spoke to Ariel Helwani in detail, and Simpson was simply not offered a new UFC contract.
To clarify the @aaronsimpson deal: just spoke to his manager @magllc, and he told me Simpson's UFC contract expired after the Pierce fight, and he wasn't offered a new one. Martin said the UFC was fair and honest during the transition period. No hard feelings. Simpson then signed a four-fight deal with WSOF, and he is very happy, especially since they promised to keep him active.